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26/10 Barnsley Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 26/10/2003

IT wasn’t great, but so what. Barnsley were sleepwalking and Town were happy with that. After 9 minutes, something happened. As Town dollied around in midfield and defence Barnsley pressed, so the ball ended up with Crane, about 10 yards inside the Town half in the centre.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Barnsley (a)

Grimsby Town 2 Notts County 0
21 Oct 2003, Nationwide League Division 2

Crane engaged his onboard computer to weigh up all options and it came up with the answer "hoof". Strange how it always does. To groans from the aesthetes and purists, Crane lofted the ball straight down the middle towards Onuora, half way inside the Barnsley half. Iffy jumped, Iffy missed, as did his marker. The ball bounced forward and past Handyside, with Boulding bounding free, but drifting away from goal to the left. The ball bounced once, and Boulding, about a dozen yards out perhaps 8 wide of goal, side footed a half volley across Ilic and a few feet past the left hand post.

Five more minutes of tipping, tapping, sliding and swiping followed, during which Barnsley threatened to produce something which may have led to one of their players touching the ball in the vague direction of Davison, if they were lucky. They broke quickly, there was the illusion of danger, but did you ever doubt Edwards? A couple of times Barnsley players got to the bye-line and crossed, but .... you know Davison has big hands. On the quarter hour, Town surged down the left with Anderson fizzing like a popsicle, cutting inside and spreading a delightful and delovely pass over to the rampaging McDermott, who entered the Gallizone. McDermott advanced, slipped a pass inside to Campbell who tapped the ball to Cas. Gallimore wasn’t physically flapping his hands but we know, deep inside, Corporal Jones was fighting to get out. Campbell ran around the back and down the line, so Cas simply stroked the ball past the retreating Galli. Campbell crossed the ball into the heart of the penalty area and the unmarked Onuora, near the penalty spot, headed firmly down, the ball bounced up high and slid a few inches past Ilic’s right hand post. Should have scored Iffy boy.

Go out an make a coffee, for the next five minutes were a replica of the previous five. Shuffling, scuffling and scurrying soaked up by the Town defence with ease. After 21 of your English minutes Town bothered to attack again. Barnard walloped a free kick forward, Cas challenged and the ball ended up near Campbell, on the edge of the area. He let fly with a twisting, turning volley which flamboyantly fizzled and flooped through the area. Boulding, unmarked and just beyond the penalty spot, steered the ball goalwards and Ilic crumbled to his right. The ball was almost straight at Ilic, but he still had to move to save it, so it was a decent save, but another miss. Twenty one minutes, three attacks, three chromium domed chances. How frustrating. Back Barnsley came with attack after attack foundering on the rocks of their own rubbishness. They flattered from afar, they flirted with a glance, but they didn’t even ask for a dance. No wonder they’d only scored 7 goals at home. Around the half hour mark, the crowd woke up a bit. Barnsley broke away after a Town corner and Campbell was penalised for hunkering down with a striker. Campbell dissented mildly and the referee took umbrage, booking the tiny tartan terror and moving the ball forward 10 yards. A coupe of minutes later Barnard cleared down the line and Burns arrived late, leaving Barnard in a heap. Of course this is far less serious than gurning, so a little lecture and a pat on the back was all he received. The locals loved Barnard being floored though.

It was perhaps around this time that Barnsley had their one effort on target during the first half. Forgive the inexactitude, the shock of them making Davison catch the ball was only matched by the softness of the strike itself.

Campbellyellow card


Crowe77 mins


Alan Wiley


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Carson, for once, managed to fly free down their left, capitalising on some Hamiltonian waywardness and a Crane lunge. He got to the bye-line and dinked a careful cross into the centre. Rankin, about 10 yards out, leant back and steered a gentle header straight at Davison. That was it, as far as they were concerned. Town’s defence was rigid and unyielding, with many an excellent block to stop the opposition getting close enough to shoot or cross. They were mostly kept out of the penalty area and crowded out when they did accidentally impinge on Davison’s personal space. I think little Burns headed wide after a Carson cross, but I may have been gazing out at the surrounding hills at the time. Town, like a metronome, attacked every five minutes. Hmm, a pretty slow metronome that, perhaps Town bought it off e-bay from Perry Como’s estate. Enough idle gossip, you want those magic moments from Town. Well, heeeeeere’s Johnnie! One touch passing and movement down the right saw the ball flipped to Campbell five yards outside the penalty area. He caressed a curling first time pass between Handyside and Gallimore for the swooping Macca, who’d sneaked round the back. The ball bounced about 10 yards out and wide of goal with no Barnsely defender bothering to defend. Macca continued, Ilic sprinted off his line and just managed to reach the ball before our intrepid rover, with Town getting a corner. Nothing happened for another few minutes. There were a couple of almost and if only moments from Town, but then aren’t there always. If only Onuora was seven foot three, or Boulding had had his hair cut.

Half time sauntered towards us like a cocky cockernee barrow boy with a barrelful of pumpkins this Hallowed Eve. And Town won another corner, this time on the left. Barnard and Anderson stood over the ball, pointing and generally wasting time. Campbell trotted up to the corner of the penalty area and no Barnsley player bothered. So Barnard tapped the ball up to Campbell, who played the ball through to Anderson, who’d run in from the corner flag. Anderson zoomed on towards goal and, as a defender eventually lumbered out, smackerooned a low cross shot through the clucking, gargling masses inside the 6 yards box. The ball zipped through unmolested and managed to avoid the diving, sliding, waving Onuora at the far post, missing Iffy by inches and the net by nanometres.

Half time: Barnsley 0 Grimsby Town 0

And that was all the news that’s fit to print from the first half. The players walked off towards the tunnel, handily placed next to the Town fans. All the way back the Town players were accompanied by a rousing chorus of support, until every man jack of them had gone down the tunnel. You could almost see their chests puff out with pride. Do you want it condensed like soup? Barnsley ambled, Town missed. The striped ones should have been at least two up, having had four golden opportunities presented on a silver platter, with an orange stuck in each bore’s mouth. Barnsley played neatly and with a certain amount of prettiness until they got in the last third of the pitch. They were most certainly not a threat and had not even looked like shooting, let alone scoring. It was all too easy, but that nagging fear, like a green bug eyed monster (hey, as Cliff warbled, Galli doesn’t play here anymore) was at the back of each Town fan’s head. Something was bound to go wrong, and most mental fingers were pointing towards the referee, for he’d been most keen to indulge the locals. Nothing too drastic as yet, but the little things were going their way.

So 0-0 and as easy as a Sunday morning. I wish we could shoot straight, and that we’d pass the ball to Cas sometimes.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"After five visits I’ve finally found the chic streets in Barnsley".
"Barnsley would give Wednesday a decent game".
"Does that stand double as a cathedral?".
"Damn that Hamilton woman!".
"I think we’ve got the better of the left back swap"

The report continues in the Second Half.

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